Continuing Medical Education

Elimination diets and dietary interventions for the management of food allergies Elimination diets and dietary interventions for the management of food allergies

A C Lang, D A van der Spuy, E Goddard, A J Terblanche, M Kriel, C L Gray, S Karabus, A I Manjra, S M Risenga, M E Levin

Abstract


The primary therapy for food allergy is strict avoidance of the offending food or foods. Dietary restriction should be tailored to meet the nutritional requirements of each patient.Patients should be educated on how to avoid allergens safely by understanding terminology for common ingredients and how to read food labels. Information regarding safe, cost-effective and freely available substitutes for the avoided foods should be provided. Patients should be re-evaluated at regular intervals to see if they have developed tolerance. 

Mothers of infants with cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA) who are breastfeeding should be supported and encouraged to continue breastfeeding. Partially hydrolysed infant formulas are not hypoallergenic (tolerated by 90% of subjects with proven CMPA) and are therefore not recommended for the treatment of CMPA, but may have a role in prevention of eczema or CMPA in high-risk individuals.

Some extensively hydrolysed and amino-acid-based formulas are truly hypoallergenic. The recommended feed of choice for the dietary management of mild-to-moderate CMPA in infants not breastfed is an extensively hydrolysed cow’s milk formula. The recommended formula for the dietary management of non-breastfed infants and children with known severe CMPA is an amino-acid-based formula. Soya-based formulas may be useful in infants with immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated CMPA with proven tolerance to soya, and some cases of mild-to-moderate non-IgE-mediated CMPA, bearing in mind the increased risk of co-reactivity between CMPA and soya allergy in non-IgE-mediated conditions. Other mammalian milks and plant-based milks, including rice and oat milks, are not suitable as sole nutrition for cow’s milk protein allergic individuals. 

 

Authors' affiliations

A C Lang, Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre, Johannesburg, South Africa

D A van der Spuy, Private Practice, Cape Town, South Africa

E Goddard, Division of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

A J Terblanche, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria and Steve Biko Academic Hospital, Pretoria, South Africa

M Kriel, Private Practice, Alberton, Johannesburg, South Africa

C L Gray, Private Practice, Vincent Pallotti Hospital, Pinelands, Cape Town, South Africa

S Karabus, Private Practice, Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital, Cape Town, and Division of Allergy, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

A I Manjra, Private Practice, Westville, Durban, South Africa

S M Risenga, Department of Pulmonology and Allergy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Polokwane Campus, University of Limpopo, Polokwane, South Africa

M E Levin, Division of Allergy, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa

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Keywords

Elimination diets; Food allergy

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2015;105(1):71-72. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.9102

Article History

Date submitted: 2014-10-29
Date published: 2014-11-11

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